The heroes of the night were the goalies. There was some good defensive play by both teams but goalies Joel Rumpel for Allen and Ryan Faragher for Utah put on a goalie show that saw many quality shots turned aside. Rumpel was selected the games #1 star and Faragher was selected the #3 star. The #2 star went to Greger Hanson who scored the game winning goal.
The shutout was the first of the year and the first of his professional career for Joel Rumpel who stopped 29 Utah shots. For the Americans it was the third shutout of the season. Riley Gill had a 44 save, 3-0 shutout in Wichita on November 20 and a 29 save, 4-0 shutout against Idaho at home on December 9.
There was no scoring until Greger Hanson scored with 6:52 left in the second period. It was Hanson's 10th goal of the season and he was assisted by Chris Crane and Dyson Stevenson. That was the extent of the scoring until there were just 40 seconds left in the game when David Makowski flipped the puck three quarters of the way down the ice into an empty net to make the final score 2-0.
I usually suggest going to the ECHL Rewind section at http://www.echl.com/ to look at the great goals but today you have to check it out for some great save highlights. The first highlight is Joel Rumpel making a spectacular save on Utah's Ryan Walters who had a sure power play goal. Certainly a candidate for save of the year. To borrow a phrase from the voice of the Allen Americans, Tommy Daniels, the photos today are a collection of "Rumpelicious" pics from last night.
|Joel Rumpel with his first professional shutout - photo by scenebykimberly.com|
|Rumpel stymies Utah's Alex Krushelnyski - photo by scenebykimberly.com|
|The save of the night and maybe the year by Joel Rumpel - photo by scenebykimberly.com|
|Another point blank save for Rumpel - photo by Lauren Lyssy|
|Rumpel with another save - photo by Lauren Lyssy|
With the win, Allen now has 57 points and jumps ahead of Utah for the second most points in the Western Conference. Here are the five Western Conference teams with at least 50 points:
71 points - Missouri
57 points - Allen
56 points - Utah
54 points - Fort Wayne
53 points - Idaho
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- It was a win tonight against a good Utah team. Both goalies were really good. The save Rumpel made at the end of the first period was great. It was nice to see Rumpel finally get a shutout.
- I was trying to match up the Crane, Stevenson, Hanson line with Utah's top line but with all of the power plays and penalty kills in the first period that was hard to do. In the AHL and NHL when you have four lines you don't have to break up the regular lines so much because of special teams but in our league you are breaking up lines all of the time.
- We lost a couple of power play opportunities because we took penalties when we had a man advantage. We can't take so many stick penalties. Sometimes the guys don't move their feet, get beat and then take stick penalties. These really hurt especially when you take stick penalties in the offensive zone.
- I think we were making too many cross ice passes when moving up ice and some times took too long to get the puck into the offensive zone.
- Rick Pinkston got called up to San Jose and I have no idea how long he will be gone. Riley Gill will not make the trip to Alaska but should be ready when we return. Vincent Arseneau will be on the trip to Alaska.
- At this time of year it can be difficult to make trades but I am working all of the time to improve the team. I talk to agents, coaches and also players if they are free agents. The deadline to sign European players is the 15th.
ALLEN VS WICHITA GAME PREVIEW
- Allen takes on the Wichita Thunder tonight and will be wearing Star Wars specialty jerseys which will be auctioned off right after the game.
- Wichita played at home last night and were shutout by Colorado 6-0. It was the worst home defeat for the Thunder since 2010 when they were beaten by a score of 8-1 also at the hands of the Colorado Eagles.
By almost any statistical comparison Allen should be the favorite to win the game tonight. The Americans are 7-0 against Wichita this season, have out scored them 27-15 and dominated on special teams. In the seven games, Allen is 9-31 (29.0%) on the power play while Wichita is 2-27 (7.4%).
- Here is a comparison between Allen and Wichita:
Team Record 27-16-2-1 (57 points) 10-28-4-4 (28 points)
Division Ranking 2nd - Central 4th - Central
Conference Ranking 4th - Western 14th - Western
League Ranking 9th 28th
Home Record 13-6-2-1 6-11-2-3
Road Record 14-10-0-0 4-17-2-1
Last Ten Games 6-2-1-1 1-6-3-0
Last Game 2-0 W (Utah) 6-0 L (Colorado)
Goals For 136 91
Goals Against 126 160
Power Play 20.9% (36/172) 9.3% (17/182)
Penalty Kill 86.1% (25/180) 83.6% (34/207)
Most PIM's Stevenson (83) Milan (65)
Leading Scorer Costello (15-45-63) Lowe (9-14-23)
- Here is how Allen and Wichita rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:
Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (16.63) - Wichita 12th (15.04)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 11th (2.96) - Wichita 28th (1.98)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 12h (2.74) - Wichita 27th (3.48)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 26th (27.61) - Wichita 27th (26.43)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 15th (30.02) - Wichita 19th (30.76)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 3rd (20.9%) - Wichita 28th (9.3%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 4th (86.1%) - Wichita 17th (83.6%)
- Even though Allen is 7-0 against Wichita this year and have outscored the Thunder 27-15, Wichita has out shot Allen 229-224. These are two of the worst teams in the ECHL in getting shots on goal but against each other they average over 32 shots per game.
- Allen has at least one power play goal in six of the seven games they have played against Wichita while holding the Thunder scoreless on the power play in five of the seven games. If the Americans can continue that domination they should win tonight.
- On paper it would appear Wichita has little chance against Allen tonight. They come to Allen after losing 6-0 at home last night in one of the worst home defeats in team history. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games including seven straight road games. Wichita is last in the league in goals scored, second to last in goals allowed and has the worst power play in the league at 9.3%. However, one statistic not to be overlooked is since joining the ECHL, Wichita is 5-5 against Allen at the AEC.
- If you are looking for who might be the hero tonight for Allen based on head to head scoring, bet on Chad Costello and Greger Hanson who are both averaging two points a game against Wichita. In seven games Chad has 14 points (5 goals 9 assists). Greger has played in just four games against Wichita but has eight points (2 goals 6 assists).
- Officials scheduled for tonight's game are Andrew Wilk (#24), who was the referee last night in Allen's 2-0 win over Utah and linesmen Brian Bull (#49) and Alex Black (#63)
- Last but not least, tonight I turn into a Wichita Thunder fan for one game. Wichita Thunder broadcaster, Jason Mals, will not be in Allen as he is taking his seven year old daughter to a father/daughter dance. Tommy Daniels recruited his side kick, Maurice Fitzgerald, to do the play by play and myself to do color commentary on the Wichita broadcast tonight so Jason could accompany his daughter to the dance. So it will be the "Mo & Barry Show" for a one night engagement. Maurice is a professional who knows what he is doing but I am just along for the ride. It should be fun but nerve-racking at the same time. Jason Mals reached out to me when I first started writing this blog and was a great help in providing advice and counsel so anything I can do to help him out I am all in. Hope the Wichita fans are understanding.
DID YOU KNOW: The all time Allen Americans single season record for shutouts is held by Aaron Dell who had three shutouts in 2012-13.